Grease Trap Frequently Asked Questions

Grease Trap Frequently Asked Questions (Click the link to watch the video)

Checked your Grease Trap lately?

The grease trap is a critical choke point on your outbound sewage system to your building. A backed up system here affects the rest of the productivity on your business. For businesses like restaurants, the odor alone could turn away customers permanently.
Failure to clean your trap can end up harming your organization’s productivity with future downstream repairs as well that could need the aid of a Hydro Jet cleaning service.

Q: What are Grease Traps?

A: Their purpose is to reduce the amount of fats, oils and greases (FOG’s) that enter the main sewers. They are engineered and designed boxes within the drain run that flows between the sinks in a kitchen to the often foul smelling sewer system. They can be made from different materials:
– Plastics
– Concrete
– Cast Iron
– Stainless Steel

They only have waste water flowing through them and are not served by any other drainage system such as toilets.

Q: What happens to the grease?

A: The trapped grease is stored in the trap until it is cleaned out.

Q: Do I need a Grease Trap?

A: Most Local Authorities require a system to prevent grease and fat from flowing into the main sewerage system.

Why?

For Restaurants especially, a neglected Grease Trap can fill a building with awful odors that will:
– Shut your business down for a day or more
– Turn off customers, maybe forever
– Create even more expensive repairs downstream of the Grease Trap

Q: How does a Grease Trap work?

A: It slows down the flow of hot greasy water and allowing the grease to cool as it cools, the fat, oil and grease separate and float to the top of the Grease Trap

Q: How Often Should They Be Checked?

A: Usually every 6 to 12 months (Depends on the model)

Q: What are the signs that your grease trap needs cleaning?

A:
– An increase of roaches & centipedes around your drains
– When your Grease Trap becomes too full it can overflow or backup in your sink
– You hear bubbling sounds from the drain
– You notice the sink at your home or restaurant are having trouble draining
– And/or a nasty odor coming from your drains

(Ask Us About our $30 Discount offer on your next Grease Trap cleaning)

Why we like our Mongoose Hydro Jetter

We have been singing the praises of the best clogged pipes tool in our arsenal, our Mongoose Hydro Jet.  You can see in this picture of our Hydro jet, the largest part could be the tank used to hold water.  The water is forced out at 3,000 pounds per square inch.  That pressure is needed to break thru and empty out the toughest common useage pipe clogs.  On a recent Hydro Jet project we cleared a sewer line downstream of a local bar.   After the nozzle of the hydro jet broke thru the obstruction, the material flowed down the pipe.

We caught it on video, right here:  How Hydro Jetting Works In North Chicago


The Rocket Plumbing Hydro Jet deployed and ready

We want to send a kind word to the team at Mongoose Jetters: we have enjoyed using the tool. We being one of the few plumbing services in Chicago to even own their own Hydro Jet, can endorse it.

 

June’s New Products From Chicago Faucets, Kohler, And More

The ever changing Home Improvement industry depends on constant innovation… and that usually means better products to install in your home or office.  Let’s see what’s new!

  1. Chicago Faucets has introduces the 420-T Series faucets. They are not only durable, but also save water with what they call “TempShield scald protection”. The intended result is an efficient restroom faucet that complies with ASSE 1070 requirements. It looks to be a very streamlined install, not needing a separate thermostatic mixing valve below the sink. Why? The 420-T already comes with scalding protection built into it. Pretty nice. (Yes, scalding can be a problem with faucets, as innovations in tankless water heaters can deliver on demand VERY hot water.)
  2. Kohler has introduced a new Shower head with a beautiful aesthetic… the Real Rain Overhead Showering Panel.  It simulates rainfall, instead of pushing the water out thru a narrow shower head.  See the video at the bottom of the post.  Looks quite nice.
  3. Speaking of Tankless Water Heaters… have you wondered what the major differences are?  Rheem, a manufacturing and design leader in the industry, has a handy Tankless vs NonTankless water heater comparison page.  Check it out!

 

As always, Rocket Plumbing here in North Chicago is ready to install all of these products in your home or office.  If you took your best shot at being the Handyman around your home, and have bitten off more than you can chew, let us pick up the pieces for you!  It happens all the time, and we are happy to help!

Happy Memorial Day in Chicago and Near By Suburbs in 2018

Happy Memorial day!  Please everyone be safe, and look out for each other celebrating our great country.

Wondering where to go to celebrate?  Below is a list of celebrations listed by areas our Plumbing locations serve.  To all our Rocket Plumbing customers, enjoy some great food, and shake some hands of old friends.

In Chicago:
On May 28th, at the Richard J. Daley Center, join others in the streets of downtown as the city honors our nation’s fallen heroes with one of the largest Memorial Day parades in the country. The Wreath Laying Ceremony begins at 11 am and the parade starts at noon down State Street from Lake to Van Buren.

Near Jefferson Park:

What better place for a picnic than the Jefferson Memorial Park on this day?

We Will Handle Your Emergency In Skokie, Illinois

We’ve been helping folks in Skokie Illinois for 5 years now.

Here are some “Didja’ Know?” Skokie Illinois factoids:

According to the 2010 census, Skokie has a total area of 10.06 square miles, all land. The village is bordered by Evanston to the east, Chicago to the southeast and southwest, Lincolnwood to the south, Niles to the southwest, Morton Grove to the west, Glenview to the northwest, and Wilmette to the north.

2003 Money magazine named Skokie one of the 80 fastest-growing suburbs in the U.S.

In that same year, Skokie became the first municipality in the United States to achieve nationally accredited police, fire, and public works departments, and a Class-1 fire department, per the Insurance Services Office (ISO) ratings

The Skokie Park District maintains public spaces and historical sites within its more than 240 acres (0.97 km2) of parkland and in its ten facilities. The district is a recent winner of the national “Gold Medal for Excellence” in parks and recreation management. Every May since 1991, the park district hosts the Skokie Festival of Cultures to celebrate the village’s diverse ethnic composition.

The name of the town was changed from “Niles Center” to “Skokie” by referendum in 1940. “Skokie” had previously been used as the name for the marshland on which much of the town was built.


In 1888, the community was incorporated as Niles Centre. About 1910, the spelling was Americanized to “Niles Center”. However, the name caused postal confusion with the neighboring village of Niles. A village-renaming campaign began in the 1930s. In a referendum on November 15, 1940, residents chose the Native American name “Skokie” over the name “Devonshire.”

During the real estate boom of the 1920s, large parcels were subdivided; many two- and three-flat apartment buildings were built, with the “Chicago”-style bungalow a dominant architectural specimen. Large-scale development ended as a result of the Great Crash of 1929 and consequent Great Depression. It was not until the 1940s and the 1950s, when parents of the baby boom generation moved their families out of Chicago, that Skokie’s housing development began again. Consequently, the village developed commercially, an example being the Old Orchard Shopping Center, currently named Westfield Old Orchard.

Grease Trap cleaning and why it’s so important

Where does grease originate from?

Grease, oil, and fat are normal results of substenances or cooking forms. Numerous different things can fabricate a gathering of grease inside drain pipes, for example, meats, sustenance scraps, dairy items, margarine, espresso grinds, rice, eggshells, numerous cleansers, and cleansers a swell. Essentially whatever else that originates from nourishment or is utilized for cooking can be a potential reason for a grease clogged pipe. Notwithstanding when you are an extremely mindful individual, you may not see the presence of grease in the drain pipe until flooding happens.

Over the years, smashed glass accumalated into a clog that at some point, backed up the other larger bits and pieces, creating a really awful smell that would repulse the most dedicated happy hour customer.

Grease gathering inside a restaraunt’s drain pipes is a noteworthy, yet shockingly normal plumbing emergency in the making. It’s not just restaraunts who this issue, due to so much grease going thru their pipes. Apartment complexes, Corporate buildings, anywhere where a large amount of people gather means your pipes are getting lots of material flowing thru them. For instance, we took our Hydro Jet out to a popular drinking establishment who had a pipe backing up material on to the floor of the major bar in the location.

What was causing the clog?

Glass.

But by far, the most common cause of the clogged pipes we see are due to Grease build up. Managing a grease clogged drain can be not only disgusting, but compound into a very expensive emergency. At the point when grease gathers inside the drain pipe, it obstructs the section of water and prompts a flood from the influenced plumbing installation. At the point when a grease clogged drain happens everything can get foul, muddled, and unhygienic in a significant rush. Grease is maybe the nastiest of drain issues, and the hardest to manage.

In like manner, you may not know that a specific article contains grease, for example, fat based cleansers. Most cleansers are either creature fat of vegetable based. The issue is that grease doesn’t have all the earmarks of being risky until the point when it overpowers your drainage. Grease tends to develop over a drawn out time frame.

Most cleansers depend on creature fat, or vegetable fats. These kinds of cleanser can cause a grease clogged drain. Fat free cleansers are promptly accessible. Fat free cleansers arrive in an assortment of sorts, shapes, and sizes.

Where can grease collect?

The worst types of clogged pipes we see are those straightforwardly associated with a kitchen sink, particularly in the sink’s grease trap. Fat, oil, grease, and coarseness (what plumbers call FOGG) is pushed thru by normal water use and by all appearances your pipes and grease trap may seem to stream down the sink without issue and normal flushing. Inside the pipe, warmer temp water declines in temperature and cools. The water itself will stream, however the FOGG wind up hardened when presented to cool air. It can either sink to the base of the pipe. However, more probable, glide over water, and gradually coat the highest point of the pipe. As you flush more FOGG into the sink, they collect to make a much greater grease amassing, at that point in the long run a clog. After some time, the grease can totally square water section, causing floods abruptly.

Drain pipe clogging is potentially caused by a blend of calcium and fat too. Human waste and erosion from pipe produces calcium; when blended with fats from any source, development of thick and genuinely hard substance happens. It implies that any pipe situated in any room in the house can get clogged by this material by the blend of calcium and fats.

How to get rid of this nasty grease?

A grease clogged drain is a disturbing issue, and there are changing degrees of difficulty in getting them out. Some of the time it is anything but difficult to reestablish everything back to the satisfactory normal; now and then that isn’t so. On the off chance that you are dependent on getting rid of scraps and food material down your drain, attempt to blend in high temp water with dish cleanser while flushing it down or cooking buildup. Dishwashing fluid helps breaks up grease, however not nearly enough to forestall a grease clog. That’s understandable, these dishwashing agents are not intended to be tool for grease expulsion, but rather they can keep grease from collecting more.

A heavy duty pipe cleaner liquid is more viable to clean a grease clogged drain. A liberal measure of acidic cleaner can enter and possibly handle a thick and hard aggregation of grease. To do this, grab your cleaner and empty it into the sink with standing water, and let it do it’s magic for around 60 minutes. As the cleaner gradually sinks down the drain, it breaks up and washes away thick grease to the sewer, if it’s a clog that is at all possible. If the first try does not work, you may need to try a bigger ‘dose’ of the cleaner. Always make a point to pour a blend of warm water and dishwasher cleanser afterwards, just as you would do for your daily use,.

Now and again utilizing packed air, (for example, CO2) to push down the grease is smart thought, as well. This is a direct result of the destructive property of scathing cleaner. Harsh cleaners are not informed for regular flushing regarding clogs. Visit utilization won’t just dispose of grease, yet in addition erode away the drain pipes. Excessively eroded pipe is inclined to serious harms which conceivably prompt more costly repair. The erosion can likewise clog the pipe notwithstanding grease.

Some times simply cleaning your grease trap is all that’s necessary. However… it’s one of those tasks that often get ignored, as it is so unpleasant. Call us to have it done for you like clockwork every month or six months.

Grease traps are often one of the most ignored tools that require maintenance in a restaurant.

Business compound based cleaners are viable to handle a grease clogged drain, yet a homemade cleaner can also work for some clogs. The most well-known custom home made cleaner is a 1:1 blend of high temp water and vinegar This 1:1 blend works similarly as a industrial cleaner, while also being safer for your handling and less destructive. By including boiling water will help build temperature inside grease clogged drain, and could dissolve the clog for you. Why use vinegar? It can help expel the grease adhering to the walls of the pipe. Give it a few minutes, and then try pouring more boiling water into the sink and it may flush the rest of the grease.

For a more total cleaning, utilizing a controlled drain twist drill in conjunction with hydro jet gear is infrequently prudent. You can lease them from a tool shop and begin the cleaning procedure; however it is prescribed to utilize an expert drain cleaner. In the event that you don’t know with what you’re doing you may not be effective, or more terrible, harm yourself all the while. A grease clogged drain can deliver an awful stench that waits in your home for a long time. You can kill the awful stench by pouring a blend of high temp water and a detergent arrangement into the sink.

On account of a grease clogged house drain, or primary sewer, a high weight water jet is the perfect arrangement. Utilizing the best possible spout, and in he hands of a talented expert, can give a durable arrangement. Essentially utilizing a standard sewer cleaning machine can bring about simply driving the snake forward and backward past the grease, without expelling it by any means.

Rocket Plumbing has been serving the Chicago area’s restaurants, apartment complexes, corporate business parks of their clogged drains, grease trap problems for over 5 years now. We are one of the few plumbing services to own their own Hydro Jet in Chicago. If a grease trap is ignored, it can have major issues appear down stream, which only a Hydro Jet can completely clear, giving you great peace of mind.

How to maintain a strategic distance from a grease clogged drain?

Counteractive action is the way to evade a grease clogged drain and every one of the battles that take after the issue. When cooking or physically washing the dishes, don’t flush fats, oils, margarine, egg shells, and some other oily substances into the sink. On the off chance that you need to clean oily kitchen utensils and plates, you might need to absorb them a grease-dissolving cleaner before the real washing. Some imperative keys to recollect:

• A grease clogged drain happens just when there is an amassing of oily substances; so don’t pour fats, oils, grease, and corn meal down the sink.

• Pots, skillet, and dishes must be wiped of solids before washing. Scratched materials must be discarded in the junk.

• Install a rubbish transfer under the sink to keep a grease clogged drain.

Junk transfers or grease traps are composed particularly to isolate fats and oily substances from water. Set under the sink, it keeps conceivable clog-causing materials from going into the pipe. Whenever introduced and looked after appropriately, grease traps can catch huge measure of oily substances effortlessly. Remember that grease traps are not intended to deal with strong materials, for example, sustenance scraps. To ensure the traps don’t get strong items, likewise utilize sink strainers. In the event that you take after these means, yet still get stoppages, you may have a genuine drain pipe issue that requirements repair.

Do you have a location that has a lot of people moving in and out?  Are you a restaurant owner or manager of a high volume eatery, and can NOT risk a bust pipe that could drive your customers away forever?  You may require an expert drain cleaner.

Keeping a grease trap clean keeps them working at peak performance. Letting it slide, can come back to hurt a location’s productivity and profitability.

Our locations that will handle your grease trap repairs and installations: North Chicago – Dupage – Arlington Heights  –  Jefferson Park In Chicago

Practical tips to find and stop gas and water leaks

Did you know that most homes and businesses have a gas or water leak right now?

No matter how much work we do to police them, there will be gas leaks for as long as there are gas lines.

They do, it’s just that most leaks do not rise to the level of being a problem. It’s just a fact of the physics involved with liquids and gases… there is always a gap, however and nearly imperceptable, large enough for fluid to escape.

The question to ask yourself is if you have a leak that rises to the level of costing you money or, in the exrtreme, possibly harmful to your health.

Regarding the possibly dangerous gas leak, most regulations and standards, and the general rule most professional plumbers will adhere to, allow for a minimal amount of escaping fluid or gas before the pipe or connection counts under those regulations as a leak.

The good news is, you should be able to smell a gas leak long before it gets that bad, and water leaks often have warning signs that can be seen or heard.

Occasionally, however, such a gas leak can be trapped in an area where the vapour does not escape a wall enclosure or stranger circumstances.  See below about the dangers of a leak that can cause Carbon Monoxide Poisoning.

That’s why it’s always a good idea to have your plumber do a leak check on any trip visit for another unrelated repair.

Here are some practical tips for leak detection on your own until one of our Chicago plumbers can come by…

    • Check the water bill: A family of four will typically use 12,000 gallons (16 centum cubic feet) per month. Usage in excess of this amount indicates a likely leak. (Your results may vary!)
    • Check toilets: Warn-out flappers are a primary water waster. Listen for toilets that refill between flushes.  Here is a terrific visual tip: Find slow leaks by dropping food coloring in tanks; if the bowl takes color without a flush, you can be sure there’s a leak.
    • Check interior faucets: Drips from sink and tub faucets, and showerheads, are easy to spot, but often ignored. Repair or replace warn parts to curb water-wasting drips. (And lower your water bills!)
    • Look outside: Outside hose or irrigation system leaks are often overlooked. Check for drips and moist ground during dry weather to find preventable leaks.  Some leaks can happen under ground where the pipes to your home travel to the curb.  Look for areas over those pipes to see if the grass grows much faster than surrounding areas of the lawn.
    • Get a digital leak detection system installed: The plumbing industry is being changed by mobile computer technology just as any other industry.  A flow-based leak detection device, such as that offered from flologic.com will detect leaks as small as a drip per second and automatically shut them off right from your iPad or mobile phone. While the primary function of FloLogic is to prevent property damage, it has the added benefit of flagging hidden leaks to save natural resources and money on water bills. (We are seeing more and more of these projects, and so far, we are very impressed with them!)

  • Gas Leak Detection: While you can likely smell a gas leak detection before it gets bad, they shouldn’t be trifled with.  As soon as you smell it, call a plumber immediately.  While a leak can worsen over time, they can also deteriorate quickly.  Don’t take a chance. (Never hurts to ask your plumber to do a leak detection for you to be sure!)

That’s why you should always familiarise yourself with whether your gas supply can be turned off — especially if you’re in a new property or have recently made changes to the layout.  If you do not have a digital device that can do the above, you may one day need to shut it off manually, when time is of the essence.

There can also be some clear signs from your household appliances that can indicate a leak, even if you can’t smell gas:

  • Always look for a crisp blue flame, rather than an orange or yellow flame.
  • Likewise, look out for a pilot light that always seems to blow out.
  • On the outside of the appliance watch out for soot or any black or brown scorched areas around your appliances.
  • Watch out for excessive condensation on the windows, or a musty smell in the air.

But in the case of a carbon monoxide leak, there are also particular physical symptoms you may suffer from if there is a leak.

If you are feeling lightheaded, ill, dizzy or nauseous you should go outside immediately. If the symptoms go away in the fresh air you could be feeling the effects of carbon monoxide poisoning.

The next step is to get fresh air into your home to help disperse the gas. Open all the windows and doors and leave them open to ensure air flow.

If you can’t open the windows because they’re locked or for any other reason, get outside and into the fresh air as soon as possible.

Here is a shocking story out of Dallas Texas about a recent drought and rain season that has damaged a community’s old steel pipes that transported natural gas:


From The Atlantic: Gas Leaks Can’t Be Tamed

The scent of gas is usually the most common sign of its presence, but pure natural gas is actually odorless. The familiar, rotten-egg aroma that you sense when the pilot light of your furnace blows out is produced by sulfur-based compounds called thiols that were added to natural gas to aid in its detection. This began after the 1937 New London School explosion in New London, Texas, considered the deadliest school disaster in American history. The explosion killed 295 people, many of them children. Ever since then, we’ve doctored natural gas to try to keep better tabs on it.

gas leak detection

A Chicago Plumber With A Commitment To The Technical Edge

Rocket Plumbing in Chicago is proud to announce new improvements to our operations.

We have new trucks for our plumbers!

Take a look at our new trucks and our new branding.  We have always taken pride in the Rocket Plumbing brand, our logo, and how we present our plumbing service.   Pictured below are our new trucks.

 

We have received  Angie’s List’s 2017 service award!

This award is earned by outstanding service and as a result of the feedback from our Angie’s List customers.  Our obsession with keeping our customers’ plumbing in tip top shape has paid off in long term customers that we want to help for many years to come.

Rocket Plumbing Now
3105 N. Ashland Avenue
Chicago, IL 60657
(773) 219-1200

Rocket Plumbing’s Same day plumbing Service for both Residential and commercial service plumbing comes with a smile. Excellent customer service is our top of mind goal, we only employ punctual plumbers, we provide written warranties, and never compromise on our friendly service.

We are proud to announce that we are Chicago’s Best Hydro Jet Service.

What is a Hydro Jet?

How does it clean the very worst of the worst clogged pipes?

What is the science behind how it works?

Why are it’s benefits so long lasting and therefore cheaper in the long run? Watch our explainer video right here:  Chicago Hydro Jet Service

The Best Plumber In Chicago Should Have The Best Plumber Coupon, Don’t You Think?

Check out our brand new Coupon process that makes it easier than ever to save on your next Plumbing Emergency!

Avondale Chicago Residents Confounded By Foul Odor

 

CBS 2’s Jim Williams reports state and city officials have no answers for worried residents.

It’s been a nightmare for Sara Suh, her husband and their five-year-old daughter since last Monday. Windows are open – even with the chilly temperatures – and a fan is running.

The fear is that the odor is toxic. The strong scent of what smells like turpentine is coming from the basement’s sump pump.

It’s not just at this house. Neighbors in the Avondale community like Yuri Zilberg have the odor in their homes, as well.

“I thought I was going out of my mind,” Zilberg says.

Suh has taken action, making a flurry of phone calls to state and city departments.

And they’ve responded. The Water Department, too. And three times firefighters were here last week, Suh says.

She even had her plumber take a look. It was a $150 house call.

Even Williams could smell something in the air.

Still, no can explain it.

“I hope it’s going to be fixed. It’s not in my plan to live like this very long,” Suh says.

Chicago Fire Department spokesperson Larry Langford says firefighters tested the air with meters and found no signs of natural gas or carbon monoxide.

What does it smell like when you have a Gas Leak?

Since natural gas is odorless and colorless in its natural form, a distinctive odorant called mercaptan is added to help you detect a gas leak. Mercaptan makes the gas smell like sulfur or “rotten eggs”.

Gas Leak Repairs in Chicago are a pretty common factor for plumbers to check.  Ignoring this issue is a serious mistake.  If you ever smell that mercaptan odour, do as Sarah Suh did, and get help quick.  A quick phone call could save your home or office, or even more.

Rocket Plumbing Now
3105 N. Ashland Avenue
Chicago, IL 60657
(773) 219-1200

 

Chicago From Afar

Beautiful Chicago Landscape

Chicago Landscape

We are looking after the pipes of this beautiful breathtaking city.  Whomever took this picture, please email us at webmaster[@]rocketplumbingnow.com. We would like more!

Rocket Plumbing
3105 N Ashland Ave
Chicago, IL, US
(773) 219-1200

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Rocket Plumbing Now

3105 N. Ashland Avenue

Chicago, IL 60657

(773) 219-1200